Manalapan, NJ (September 16, 2016) – On Tuesday, September 13, JAR of Hope set a world record for the longest LEGO chain ever assembled. The non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy partnered with over 1,100 students and faculty members from Clark Mills and Milford Brook elementary schools in Manalapan, NJ to build a LEGO chain spanning 947 meters in length, shattering the previous record of 902 meters. Prior to that, the foundation connected 10,000 LEGO pieces in just three hours, setting a new mark for speed of assembly, previously standing at eight hours.
The event was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Manalapan Township, along with corporate sponsors FedEx® Ground, Lanmark360, and Play-Well TEKnologies who aided in handling the logistics. JAR of Hope’s history-making endeavor generated much needed awareness for a deadly disease that three years ago to the day affected the life of young Jamesy Raffone, the inspiration behind the organization’s inception.
“Such an accomplishment could not have been attained alone,” stated Jim Raffone, president and founder of JAR of Hope. “It’s a testament to the determination this community has that a record was broken today. The desire and stick-to-it-iveness displayed today by all who came out is indescribable.”
The day started with an encouraging speech from Deputy Mayor of Manalapan, Susan Cohen, who was proud to see Manalapan residents congregate for such a cause.
“On behalf of the town, I’m very pleased to see everybody out here supporting Jamesy and raising awareness,” Cohen stated. “Jamesy is such an important part of our community, and his father’s commitment has touched all of us. Collectively, I know we can make a positive impact on this young man’s life.”
This record-setting initiative, “Delivery of Hope Day,” commemorated the three-year anniversary of Jamesy’s diagnosis of DMD. It was on this day in 2013 that the Raffone family was dealt an agonizing blow and a grim prognosis of a disease that for 184 years has remained incurable. Yet the Raffones remain undeterred in their mission to eliminate Duchenne, and strived to make the day a positive remembrance.
“I wanted to make this day something special for my son,” continued Jim Raffone. “One of Jamesy’s favorite pastimes is playing with LEGOs, so it was only fitting we make history taking part in one of his most cherished activities.”
Attaining the record didn’t come without obstacles. The undertaking went deep into the evening, and required more LEGO pieces than originally anticipated. In the end, after ten hours of linking chains with the help of students, teachers, sponsors, and volunteers, JAR of Hope was victorious in its seemingly impossible goal. And it was only fitting that at 7 pm, it was none other than Jamesy who connected the record-breaking link.
Jim Raffone ended by saying, “Of course there was adversity, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Adversity is something we have come to know all too well, yet we overcome it on a daily basis. Duchenne has no chance against a group of people who refuse to ever give in, or give up.”
The fully documented event was sent to Guinness World Records for official certification.
Special thanks to